Open Your Eyes

These past few days I’ve been dealing with a lot of things to think about.  I’ve had the same dream night after night, and it really was taking a toll on my emotions.  Yes…I do remember my dreams, I know there are a lot of people out there who can’t remember, but I do…sometimes they are really serious, sometimes they are very silly, and other times they just don’t make sense.  It came to the point though that as I was talking to my best friend Laura, I just started to cry.  I’ve been praying that God would just bring clarity to my mind on what I should be doing in the next coming year…whether it’s going home for a  month or two and then coming back to England to work another year with YfC, or if it’s to go back home and start up the university process.  To say I have an answer now would be a lie, cause I have no idea of what it is yet I am suppose to do. 

 Acts 21:13
Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking  my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

 I remember how there was such a movement right after the Columbine shootings.  How those two girls who stood up for their faith, died because of it.  How that challenged all of us and made us question ‘Would I die for Jesus, will I stand up for what I believe in?’  At that point in my life my relationship with God wasn’t very strong, quite weak actually if at all existant.  I read all the books and I saw everyone taking a stand, but I didn’t and wouldn’t say it.  Later on though when God finally broke through my heart and I realized he still loved me, did I even contiplate what that would mean for me.  I re-read the books and thought ‘God if ever a time did come, I will take a stand and I won’t be ashamed.’   Paul so clearly states that he was too.  What grips me most in the above passage is when Paul says ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?’  He was doing what he loved, going out and making a difference in people’s lives..he wasn’t afraid to die for Christ.  Others though were afraid for him, and it broke his heart to see them like that emotionally.

 

So what is it that I have been struggling with? I’ve always been a people pleaser, no doubt about that.  I’m commited to God whole heartedly and want to do what he calls me to do.  I love home, I love my family, but deep down I was never content.  Since I’ve been here I have fallen in love with the work, I’ve fallen deeper in love with God.  I have finally had a glimpse of what it is like to really love what you are doing.  I think about going home and I know change has to come.  I’ve lived in the same town, gone to the same church for twenty two years.  I’ve had the same routine for a long time, being a part of the worship team at church, working in Archbold, etc. Through out that time, not much has changed on the outside, and I have formed amazing, amazing friendships.   The fact is it breaks my heart to think about letting go of people whom I love so dearly..but I know if I don’t I’ll just end up hating my life and living in discontent.  I can’t get sucked back into the routine of the old, you are suppose to love life..not despise it.  

 I’m afraid though that is what people are thinking.  That once I’m home, I’ll be back up on the worship team, back in Archbold working, doing all the stuff I did before I left.  I can’t do that though.   I’ve found that when I’m in the center of God’s will that is when I am most happy.  My friend Tom once told me that I do so much for others that I have to remember to do something for myself once in a while…  

 

I love my friends, I love my family, I love my church family soo very much.  When I think about actual change to that area of my life, it is really hard…because it means I have to let go.  I have to let go of  people whom I dearly love back home, and even over here in England.   Because if I keep having such a firm grasp on these areas, it’s going to be ever so difficult to move forward with God’s will..which will hinder more than help.   Letting go means knowing that God doesn’t bring all these people into my life that I dearly love, just to rip them away from me the next minute.  So letting go means trusting God completely and whole-heartedly. 

These next steps in my life will be exciting, but also at times heartbreaking for me.  Saying goodbye to the old, but also welcoming in the new.  I remember a friend saying to me before I left ‘Erin i’m so excited for you, but when you come home you won’t be the same Erin that left Ohio a year ago.’ I wonder if they knew that at some point  I would come to this realization.

 

 

 

so after all that…

 

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!  I love you all so very much.

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Chai Latte My Love

These past two weeks were filled with the G-SUS Live trailer.   Long days, fun days, and from it brought spider solitaire geeks.  It was a wonderful time, but I am quite happy that it is over.   I don’t know how much longer I would have been able to take with being in the dark trailer watching the same videos over and over again.   Out of it came great questions though and I hope that it really made the young people think about life, about God…giving them some type of hope, that they can talk to Him and know He will listen when they feel no one else will.  

 

These past weeks have been filled and really busy.  But also they have been filled with friends and laughter.  Last Saturday I had eight friends from training over, to which we had supper together, a game of singing Christmas Carols, and a lot of pictures taken.   I am the master of bloody knuckles (david taught me well), but when it comes to slaps Matt still wallops me in that game.   It always does my heart good when I see them. 

 

Yesterday was hilarious! Aww bless.  I traveled down to Cambridge to spend a half day there with Kyle and Mark.  Kyle took me around and I think we passed all 5 Starbucks, and sat in two!  My favourite part probably was the theme of the day which I tease Kyle religiously about and that is ‘free samples’ .   We went into the fudge shop that hands out free samples, and we get them..kyle gets ready to go, and I’m thinking ‘oh my gosh I can’t do it, I just can’t.’  So I bought some fudge after sampling a free sample because my integrity wouldn’t let me walk out without buying something.  Then we’re walking down the street and this guy hands out a flyer for a Carol Sing and the catch that really got our attention was once again ‘Free drinks and mince pies’.  It was a lovely carol sing by the way.  Then we met up with Mark, and went ice skating!!  Ahh it was soo fun, my first time ever and I fell probably four times maybe more.   I do know I have a huge bruise on my knee, which was a little stiff this morning when I got up.  So then all three of us hit the road back to Nottingham, and I made supper.  It truly was a great day.  Those boys bring a lot of joy to my life.

 

This next week is not really normal.  I mean it gets back into a normal-ish routine but it’s also filled with a butt load of Christmas-staff dinners, and an outing with the lunch club to Pizza hut, and then my bible study group christmas dinner.  oh dear. 

 

I love chai lattes by the way.  Just a little fact about myself.

 

Anyways Christmas is almost here, and I am now listening to my Frank Sinatra Christmas music.  All I need is snow.  I think everyone wants snow.

Oatmeal

I don’t know about you but I’m certainly getting into the holiday spirit!!  I was walking through the city at night the other day and the lights were up and brilliant to look at, the German Market was running, and the ice rink was filled with people.   Plus all my favourite christmas tunes were playing on a loud speaker.   Oh how I love winter, and Christmas-time.  I was so excited too, yesterday morning it snowed!!!! I ran outside and started to dance in it, got soaked but I don’t care.  It was snow!!  It certainly didn’t last long, but I enjoyed it while it lasted. 

 

This week I was asked what my favourite food was..and I know some people would answer instantly for me saying cheesecake, chicken, or chocolate..or coffee, chinese food, and cheese.   Now don’t ask why those all start with the letter ‘c’ I can honestly tell you I don’t have a fettish with ‘c’ words or food.  The answer I gave to them though was oatmeal.  Yes that is right my favourite food is oatmeal..I love it. It’s wonderful stuff, quick and easy and with this week and next week…it’s going to probably be one of the things I eat most of. 

 

So you are probably wondering what I am doing this week and next week that is causing me to eat all this oatmeal.   Well kind ladies and gents I am working on the G-SUS live trailer.   www.gsuslive.co.uk

It’s pretty awesome I think, of course being on the trailer all day does get to be quite suffocating,  as Rich and I experienced today haha.  Today I was in charge of opening up the trailer at Hadden Park..which meant I had to get up at 5 am, get ready, and catch the bus from Long Eaton into the city, catch another bus into Billborough and arrive at the school about 8:30.   yeah buddy!  I’ve been eating a lot of broccoli…trying to get my energy up to level..and going to bed reaally early.   Tomorrow once again I’m doing the same thing!  Ahh the joys of early mornings.  🙂  The funny part was at the beginning I forgot to turn on the heat, so all the teens, plus Elaine and I were absolutely freezing…and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why.  Rich comes and figures out the problem..but by the end of the day..we were absolutely roasting.   Uggggghhhhh soo hot.  I would pop my head out the doors every once in a while to get a breath of fresh air, but we had turn the cooling on to late and it just didn’t work fast enough to cool us down. 

 

My first lesson I taught today I had some really good questions asked about “What is a Christian, how do you become a Christian, why do you believe in God, and have you seen God?”  It was really cool and I was really excited that they asked those questions.  We talked about those questions, and I gave them my honest answers. We deal with the subjects of fear, rejection, and forgiveness.  I think for some of those teens that come in and do the activities it really does it hit a chord with them.  My only hope is that they continue to ask questions, that God will just use this trailer and touch their lives through it. 

Ahh yes one of my favourite hymns has been playing through my head most recently. 

 ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’. 

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford. 

 I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.
 

I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh. 

I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need thee every hour; teach me thy will;
and thy rich promises in me fulfill. 

 I need thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son.

 

Sometimes I’ll be walking down the road and will make eye contact with someone and at times I can see so much emotion in them.  Some of the young people I work with are the same way, their eyes tell a story and it just depends whether or not their mouth will talk.  When I do hear some of their stories, and when I think about my past the words of the song resonate in my heart- I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;  come quickly and abide, or life is vain. I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee;  O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee. 

I think about life and I see the struggles, I’ve felt the struggles and the only way I know to get through those struggles is with God. It’s easy to live life, to really rely on God when the going gets tough.  The fact is I need God every hour.  Every second, every minute of my life I need God.  And if I need God that much what about the people who don’t know Him?

 

My soul secure

My hope is Yours

Your love endures always

 

I finally have only love for that one boy who had been giving me trouble.   I look at him, and my heart just is overflowing, and I keep thinking ‘Wow God, You are so wonderful.’   It’s so true…when we can’t find the love, God will give it to us..He will love for us..and in the end you won’t have to try to find it or try to find a little drop of it..because He will overflow you with it, if you just ask. 

I just love all these young people so much.  They bring such a joy to my life.  I can only hope and pray that one day each of them will come to know the God that I love with my whole heart.